e-Learning Forum 16 November 2006

These are my rough notes of the first eLearning Forum meeting of 2006-07. We ranged across a number of issues, on and off the agenda.


The meeting was initially characterised by the difficulty of getting the in-room technology to work: Internet connection was slow and data projector wouldn’t display multiple windows. But that’s the real world?

Streaming service

There is a new QuickTime streaming server being installed in Graphics Workshop. Previously-encoded video can be transcoded to QT. Graham Toon and Lez Zieleznik are running the operation.


Personal Response Systems have been acquired. The Business School has 64 handsets. AV Services has 128 handsets. These can be used in conjunction: 192 users. These are proving to be popular and AV services are considering acquiring more. Tues 21st November Business School Post Graduate Centre 1200 – 1400 trial/demo session. The suppliers are contracted to run demo sessions. Media Workshop will also organise sessions on GLC and Harcourt Hill.

School of Built Environment Developments

Gina Ennis Reynolds, e-Learning Champion, School of Built Environment showed superb new DL developments in the Department of Real Estate Management. They are developing a whole Masters in International Real Estate Management, delivered on line for Chinese Market. Developments are sponsored by 5 large Chartered Surveyors and the programme is/will be accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. For Gina, audio is the way to go. She believes that the audience is more “…directed to audio rather than the visual stuff.” The course is being created for the international students. She observes that international students appear to use WebCT more than “home” students.

There has also been close attention to lecturer needs and preferences. It is understood that lecturers change things at the last minute, up to and including the moment they are speaking. Immediacy is valued. So is the ability to change things easily and at the last moment.

So, while the course is packaged in a WebCT site it is highly disaggregated. No learningv sequence is longer than about 15 minutes: audio supported by ppt compressed with Impatica, and a transcript.There are, of course the usual other components, quizzes, video introductions, reading lists, assignments. Each piece is stand alone.

MSN mySpace, youTube can be used as backup.

4 hours to produce 1 hour of content.

General discussion raises the usual challenges, but the interesting development here is that they have disaggregated the coursxe into 15 minute chunks with a lot of consideration of the possibility for reuse, reordering and repurposing the compomnents of the course. This has meant that updating is facilitated.

Student representative observes that learning preferences are important. Some people will like this approach, others will not.

Gina is eager to get feedback. She is collecting log-ons to add people to the course as viewers.


Clive Robertson, Head of Student Learning Experience gave us an update on BSLES bids.
26 bids, 8 or 9 are being funded. £208,000 in Round 1. RLO project in WIE. Round 2 £100,000 not constrained: can be for any activities. 7 bids received, and one or 2 will go forward. Round 2 bids are with advisory panel. Funding is conditional and impact must be evaluable. I asked if there could be a simple website to keep track of these developments. A BSLES blog would be nice.

BLLES conference in early May.

Schools will write LES and these will be “integrated” strategies including learning technologies

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